José van Dijck's The Transparent Body: A Cultural Analysis of Medical Imaging PDF

By José van Dijck

From the effective homes of X rays evoked in Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain to the miniaturized surgical crew of the vintage technological know-how fiction movie really good Voyage, the opportunity of peering into the interior reaches of the physique has engaged the twentieth-century renowned and clinical mind's eye. Drawing on examples which are overseas in scope, The obvious physique examines the dissemination of clinical pictures to a favored viewers, advancing the argument that clinical imaging applied sciences are the fabric embodiment of collective wants and fantasies - the main pervasive of that's definitely the right of transparency itself. The obvious physique strains the cultural context and wider social impression of such scientific imaging practices as X ray and endoscopy, ultrasound imaging of fetuses, the filming and broadcasting of surgical operations, the production of plastinated corpses for demonstrate as artwork gadgets, and using digitized cadavers in anatomical study.

In the early twenty-first century, the inner of the physique has turn into a pervasive cultural presence - as available to the general public eye as to the physician's gaze. Jose van Dijck explores the multifaceted interactions among scientific photos and cultural ideologies that experience led to this example. The obvious physique unfolds the complexities excited by scientific pictures and their making, illuminating their makes use of and meanings either inside of and outdoors of medication. Van Dijck demonstrates the ways that the facility to render the interior areas of the human physique noticeable - and the proliferation of pictures of the body's inside in renowned media - have an effect on our view of corporeality and our figuring out of healthiness and disorder. Written in an enticing type that brings thought-provoking cultural intersections vividly to existence, The obvious physique could be of specific curiosity to these in media reviews, cultural stories, technology and expertise experiences, scientific humanities, and the heritage of drugs.

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Extra resources for The Transparent Body: A Cultural Analysis of Medical Imaging

Sample text

In the summer of 2003, when Iranian twins Ladan and Laleh, conjoined at the head, were surgically separated in Singapore, newspapers all over the world held their audience in breathless expectation. “The world mourns,” they reported when the unfortunate sisters did not survive the complex surgical procedure. Several doctors openly questioned whether all this publicity had not actually harmed the twins by putting too much stress on the doctors, or by raising expectations to an unrealistic level.

When, at age twelve, Doodica became infected with tuberculosis, surgical separation seemed inevitable in order to prevent her sister from becoming infected as well. This operation took place in Dr. Doyen’s clinic and was recorded on film. An image of the two girls peacefully sleeping next to each other in the same bed, as separate persons, is one of the few shots remaining. Although the operation was considered a success, Doodica died a week afterwards; her sister would live for another year before dying (of tuberculosis).

Next, we see shots of the eleven-year-old Californian sisters Abigail and Brittany. Conjoined from the shoulders down, they live the happy and carefree lives of preteens: we see them swimming, horseback riding, and jokingly discussing boys. The story of the Russian sisters Masja and Dasja illustrates the opposite outcome: even after fifty years of forced physical companionship, they are still frowned upon by neighborhood residents and relatives. Finally, we are introduced to the adult twins Lori and Reba from Pennsylvania, who were born with their heads joined—an inoperable medical condition.

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